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Moving from iTools 8.0.5 to iTools 8.2

iTools 8.2 contains a new updated version of Apache, Apache 2.2. Apache 2.2 has significant internal changes to support higher performance and better organization, allowing for future growth. One major performance change is memory and disk HTTP page caching. In previous Apache versions, memory and disk caching only partially worked. This has been fixed, and now both memory and, to a lesser extent, disk caching provide a significant performance boost to overall operations.

There are three changes, however, that you will need to consider when upgrading iTools: new module APIs, new authentication methods, and new configuration file structure.

Apache module APIs

Apache 2.2 has a new Apache module API. The modification is not backward compatible so all Apache modules have to be rebuilt. This means that new versions of PHP, MySQL, Tomcat and others are required when moving to iTools 8.2.

Apache Authorization & Authentication

Apache authorization and authentication has been significantly enhanced. The main externally visible change for iTools users is in the area of realm authentication. Previously the 'AuthDBMAuthoritative On' directive was used as a fixed part of the realm authentication. This directive has been removed. In its place a new directive 'AuthBasicProvider dbm' has been installed. So in each place where an 'AuthDBMAuthoritative On' is found in the Apache configuration, it must be replaced with an 'AuthBasicProvider dbm'.

Apache Configuration

The third change has an even larger impact on users that are upgrading to the new version. The format of the standard Apache httpd.conf configuration file has changed. The httpd configuration file has been broken into a main single file with about ten smaller constituent files, each containing Apache directives specific to an area of Apache configuration. The constituent files are kept in a sub-directory of the main Apache configuration directory called "extra" and are included into the new main httpd.conf with Apache "Include" directives. For example, the file extra/httpd-mpm.conf contains all of the Apache directives pertaining to worker thread populations. Perusing the extra directory will give you a feel for the new files and the Apache directives that have been distributed to them.

The impact of this on iTools is that there is no programmatic way to upgrade an old httpd.conf file to the new format. When an iTools 8.2 upgrade is installed, the previous version of the httpd.conf file is saved in httpd.conf.PREVIOUS_COPY and a standard version of the new Apache 2.2 httpd.conf is installed. iTools has separate vhost specific configuration into a secondary set of host-by-host configuration files for some time now (and Apache 2.2 has embraced this organization), so the upgrade will not impact vhost configuration, however there are directives that were previously stored in the httpd.conf file that must be moved to one of the extra constituent files. Therefore, after an iTools upgrade the PREVIOUS_COPY httpd.conf file must be hand-edited and Apache configuration directives must be installed in the new Apache 2.2 httpd.conf.


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